Summary of The Oil Kings

How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East

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The Oil Kings book summary
Delve into the intriguing, convoluted mechanics of oil geopolitics

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Review

If you think the US’s alternative energy policy is forging ahead, think again. It has been stalled for decades, largely because of US reliance on oil from Iran and Saudi Arabia. Andrew Scott Cooper, a historian and NGO activist, offers a dense presentation about the geopolitics of oil from 1969 to 1977. He focuses on the politicians and diplomats of the time, covering their relationships and limitations. Cooper discusses the flawed decision making that shaped American foreign policy and the US’s dependence on foreign oil. He tells a powerful story, much of it revealed for the first time, since he culled research from newly declassified documents. While the book occasionally gets bogged down in minutiae that distract from the more interesting main narrative, getAbstract recommends it to anyone intrigued by the convoluted mechanics of oil geopolitics.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How US relations with the Shah of Iran shaped American energy and foreign policy
  • How America used Saudi Arabia to counterbalance Iran’s oil power
  • Why America’s Mideast oil policies have failed
 

Summary

A Pivotal Time
The late 1960s and early 1970s were a pivotal time in strategic world relationships, particularly in the Middle East. At the time, Persian Gulf oil fields produced one-third of the developed world’s oil. Almost all of Japan’s petroleum imports came through the Gulf, as did...
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About the Author

Andrew Scott Cooper is a PhD candidate in American history. He has worked with the United Nations and Human Rights Watch.


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    Deirdre Cody 3 years ago
    A clear, concise history on Iran-US relations: Weren't these two nations once friends? They sure were. For anyone who is too young to remember the '70s or anyone who was too caught up in disco at the time and needs a recap, this is a wonderful explanation of today's tensions.

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